We are now at a very peaceful and charming France Passion site in Ardèche. They specialise in Syrah and Carignan wines, as well as olive oil, honey, jams and marmalade. We’ve just been to the little shop and had a long chat with the owner, Francine Robin, who is very friendly and hospitable and who came to greet us the moment we arrived. We really enjoyed listening to her talk so passionately about her products and how she renovated the farmhouse with the help of her friends and family, as it had been neglected for many years, and she showed us pictures of before and after. We also tried a couple of her wines and bought 6 bottles of her wines ‘Peiro’ and ‘Defi de Femme’ (Domaine La Montmalle) and a jar of jam.
We parked under the shade of a tree when we first arrived just after midday, but Francine told us we could move to the adjacent field later on when the shade moved around. The farm itself, like the village of St Montan, dates back to medieval times, which is evident on the architecture of the farm building, previously a summer chateau of the local aristocracy, and its surrounding walls.
In the morning, we went back into the farm building to say our goodbyes and Francine seemed quite touched and emotional and she asked us to come back in the future, which we promised to do and most likely will next summer. It’s so nice to meet real hard-working people who care so much about their products and work with pride! These are the people who really matter and make a country be successful.
We spent 5 days at the campsite in Cormoranche-sur-Saone and made the most of the lake for swimming, fishing and rowing our inflatable boat. We also witnessed a mighty storm on Saturday afternoon that helped cool down the earth a bit. I managed to use the internet for an hour every morning, which was enough to keep in touch with friends and family.
Yesterday morning, we left for another France Passion site at Roussillon, which was fairly easy following the D906 to Villefranche-sur-Saone, where we joined the A6 south, past Lyon and Vienne, where we came off at J9 onto the N7 to Roussillon.
The France Passion stop at Le Clos du Mont Vinon is somewhere between Rouissillon and Agnin on the D131C from the police station roundabout and wasn’t all that obvious to find, as we made it all the way to Agnin and had to turn back until we saw said road. When we got there, we were disappointed to find a locked gate and no signs of life, so we couldn’t introduce ourselves as we are supposed to do, but decided to stay in the lovely area allocated to motorhomes. We tried several times, but we never saw or heard anyone around and couldn’t buy any of the local products, as we like to do.
It was mainly quiet and peaceful, except for a neighbour using a chainsaw for about 2 hours in the afternoon that almost made us leave the place, but as we started putting things away, he suddenly stopped and we stayed put for the night.
We thoroughly enjoyed a Boeuf Bourguignon that we’d bought at Leclerc at St Georges-de-Reneins, north of Villefranche-sur-Saone, which was utterly delicious and tender, and then we set for the night and watched another episode of Mad Men.